The others: our biased perspective of eukaryotic genomes

Trends Ecol Evol. 2014 May;29(5):252-9. doi: 10.1016/j.tree.2014.03.006. Epub 2014 Apr 11.


Understanding the origin and evolution of the eukaryotic cell and the full diversity of eukaryotes is relevant to many biological disciplines. However, our current understanding of eukaryotic genomes is extremely biased, leading to a skewed view of eukaryotic biology. We argue that a phylogeny-driven initiative to cover the full eukaryotic diversity is needed to overcome this bias. We encourage the community: (i) to sequence a representative of the neglected groups available at public culture collections, (ii) to increase our culturing efforts, and (iii) to embrace single cell genomics to access organisms refractory to propagation in culture. We hope that the community will welcome this proposal, explore the approaches suggested, and join efforts to sequence the full diversity of eukaryotes.

Keywords: culture collections; culturing bias; ecology; eukaryotic genomics; eukaryotic tree of life; phylogeny; single cell genomics.

MeSH terms

  • Biological Evolution
  • Cell Culture Techniques
  • Eukaryota / genetics*
  • Genomics*
  • Phylogeny